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The City Journals

Hawthorn Academy best at wearing seat belts, police say

Nov 04, 2019 03:02PM ● By Julie Slama

Hawthorn Academy student leaders receive a trophy from city police for having the best percentage of students and adults wearing seatbelts of the South Jordan elementary schools. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

After a surprise blitz, where South Jordan police officers counted adults and students wearing seatbelts as they arrived at 11 elementary schools, Hawthorn Academy’s overall user percentage was tops, with 95.4%.

Hawthorn was higher by more than 1% over Mountain West Montessori and almost 5% higher than Jordan School District’s Monte Vista Elementary, which placed third. 

“We want to be 100%, obviously, but almost all the schools were above 80%, and that’s good,” South Jordan Police Chief Jeff Carr said. 

Hawthorn Academy’s Principal Jeremy Craig and student leaders were rewarded with a trophy from the police chief for their seatbelt usage. 

“We are proud of our students and of our parents for taking an active role in the education and safety, which is exemplified in this award,” Craig said. “We do promote safety; we instruct both our students and parents to carpool and remind them to be safe.”

Not wearing a seatbelt hasn’t even occurred to sixth grader Ashley McKay, who is the student body vice president.

“It’s automatic; it keeps me safe,” she said. “I never thought of people not wearing them.”

Sixth grader Miles Richards, who serves as the students’ president, said he puts on his seatbelt as soon as he gets in.

“I’d say our school is very safe, and I’m proud we are using seatbelts to keep our families safe,” he said. “I think this trophy proves we think of safety and that nobody thinks of unbuckling before they pull out of the school or before the vehicle comes to a complete stop when they get here.”

Mayor Dawn Ramsey was on hand to congratulate the students.

“We are so proud of all our drivers who use their seatbelts and for those who make sure kids are properly buckled,” she said. “Lives can be saved by following seat belt laws. We’re grateful for our outstanding police department for the seat belt reminders and for all they do to keep our South Jordan residents safe.” 

Carr said that recently “a young man died, but if he had been wearing the proper restraint, he might still be with us. Our strategic goal is to make sure our city is safe.”

He said that starts with surprise checks, such as a traffic blitz in August, and this check at the elementary schools Sept. 18, coordinated by Sgt. Sam Winkler. Carr said their goal is to encourage residents of the 4 S’s: slow down, stop, stay off cell phones and seatbelt usage.

While the lowest percentage of the schools was the Jordan District’s Daybreak Elementary, with 78.5%, the overall usage rate at the elementary schools was almost 87% overall, with nearly 89%f or adults and 85% for children.

At Hawthorn, the students’ usage, at 98% was higher than their adult drivers’ 92.5%. However, Mountain West results showed adult usage percentage higher at 98.7% compared to children’s 90%.

Whether it’s adults reminding students or children telling their parents, Lt. Matt Brown said it’s important to buckle up.

“I used to have the hardest time using seatbelts, but then it clicked,” he said, receiving smiles in return.